Craft goals for 2014

  1. Finish the Shelter sweater
  2. Quilt, bind, and label the big Follow your dreams quilt
  3. Sew knit clothing – go into more detail with that one.
  4. Couture dress to be finished
  5. Do old dress muslin
  6. Baby quilt or two
  7. Weave more dishcloths and handtowels. Weave regularly.
    1. After the kitchen, do some stuff for the bathroom .
  8. Knit brother sweater
  9. Knit handspun sweater
  10. Spinning study maintenance
  11. Spinning more fall colors to go with orange yarn
  12. Knit a batch of hats, for me and to sell.

Doesn’t include scrapbooking, but that’s not a fiber craft. Maintenance there will be satisfactory.

Hmm, no embroidery included. I think that means that this year it will continue to take a back seat.


Well, it finally happened…the government shut down, and since I work for the government, I am now not working. It’s an unplanned, unpaid staycation. I’ve always dreamed of a staycation – though not one that was unpaid – but never had the leave time to take it without giving up something else. So there has been a positive aspect to it. What? Well, I have enjoyed some time off, with lots of reading and relaxing. And, well, finally getting the chance to confirm what I’ve always suspected: I wouldn’t be able to enjoy unending leisure time for much more than a week. I’m starting to get busy.

We’re starting the second week of this shut down, and I am finally establishing a bit more of a routine and working out how to achieve my goals, which is to use this time properly. So I have been getting busy. I’ve been slow to do this, I think, for two reasons: one, I did want some rest; and two, not having any sense of how long this thing is going to last makes it hard to plan my activities. To a certain extent, I have to plan day to day, while still balancing my enjoyment of time alone with the need for some social interaction. I may be an introvert, but that doesn’t mean I don’t also enjoy people.

Last week, I mostly rested and relaxed, with intervals of doing chores like cleaning and cooking. This week I have planned a bit more. I have a list of things I would like to get done. I want to:

  • do a good bit of scrapbooking
  • make a baby quilt for a baby shower at the end of October (piecing all done, quilt sandwiched and ready to go)
  • maybe work on purple leftovers quilt? or quilt on the big quilt that is ready to be quilted?
  • work on the couture dress
  • set up my loom for weaving with the warp that is currently wound
  • catch up on my spinning study
  • as well as spin some on the brown Romney
  • install the SSD in my old laptop, and get Linux Ubuntu installed
  • kill weeds, then pull weeds
  • scan a lot of old paperwork so I can get rid of it and/or organize it
  • get rid of some furniture and other items at the thrift store or via Craislist and/or Freecycle

And of course, enjoy myself with reading a lot. And maintaining my regular schedule of eating right, exercising regularly, Bible study, and reaching out to some friends for visits, especially some that I haven’t seen in a while.

I have a feeling I won’t get it all done, but I’ll give it my best try.

Ten things I want to do this summer

Carole’s challenge for this week is ten things I want to do this summer. I think that should be an easy to list to come up with, but actually it wasn’t.

  1. go to the beach and be lazy for a long time. This is already planned, although I could wish it were for more than one week.
  2. Do Tour de Fleece 2013. I fully plan on this. I want to finish the sweater spinning that I started last year.
  3. plan on hiring landscape people to clean up my yard.
  4. Have some leisurely days. Put them on the calendar.
  5. Upgrade laptop memory.
  6. Explore some new recipes for cold desserts.
  7. Can something
  8. Walk in nearby national park.
  9. Run in a race? Undecided, but a possibility for late summer or early fall.
  10. Pursue Bikram yoga.

Crafts progress 2011 to 2012

I’ve suddenly realized that I haven’t done any kind of real craft update on the blog for a while, other than as part of the roundup. I think it’s time to consider what I’ve done in the past year.

Also, I DID have some goals — I’ll have to go find them. I know I didn’t achieve some of them, so it’s time to re-evaluate for next year.

Knitting projects completed in 2011

  • Socks #22 (gift for Mom)
  • Baby kimono #3 (finished and gifted)
  • Wool Peddler’s shawl
  • baby kimono #2 (finished and gifted)
  • Socks #21 (wearing and in the dirty clothes)
  • Chemo hat for a girl at church (finished and gifted, although I’m not sure she likes it)
  • Socks #19 (wearing and in the dirty clothes)
  • Candleflames shawl
  • Bamboo skirt (I’m still weaving in the ends and have yet to line it, but all the knitting is done)
  • Now it’s to be felted (a piece of knitted fabric that I hope to use in a bag)
  • Always on hand baby sweater (finished and gifted)
  • Socks #18 (wearing and in the dirty clothes)
  • Baby blanket (2X) for charity (finished and gifted)

Huh, that’s thirteen knitting projects finished in 2011; I find that rather gratifying.

Items still in progress: Summerweight sweater, boiled wool jacket, Shelter sweater, Socks #20, Pine and Ivy shawl, and Socks #23. Already finished knitting Baby kimono #4 in stockinette version, just need to sew together and block.

Knitting goals? Finish sweaters in progress; knit sweater out of gray handspun; do more shawls, a cowl, a hat, and plenty of socks. Figure out one or two of Cat Bordhi’s new sock structures so that I can adapt them. Right now I’m just following a pattern, and I want a certain amount of mental independence from that for socks.

Weaving: did some inkle loom weaving and messed with the shawl on the loom, but actually did very little. I want to focus on this more.

Weaving goals? Do two projects on the big loom. I don’t care if they are new or old, just DO TWO. Maybe take a class?

Quilting: finished the denim quilt, but did little at home. Did work on the feathered star wall hanging, but I would like to FINISH it. Also worked on French braid quilt a bit.

Quilting goals? Do some machine quilting on finished sampler top. Also finish the feathered star. Finish French braid top. Get to the quilting of it if I can. Figure out a new hand project to do at work. (I’m thinking of wool felt applique, which will be a nice blend of quilting and embroidery.) Maybe take a class?

Spinning: worked on some stuff off and on, but nothing with much consistency. Did finish the bamboo/silk blend earlier in the year.

Spinning goals? Just keep working on something as steadily as possible. Right now it is the camel/sick blend. Eventual goal is to get to that lovely brown roving for a sweater.

Cross-stitch/Embroidery: Finished Dragon and castle cross-stitch of many years. Started Celtic cross blackwork embroidery.

Embroidery goals? Just work on the blackwork project. I have no specific goals with this, even though I may choose to play with Take a stitch Tuesday. But that will be PLAY, not commitment.

Sewing: messed around with some stuff, but didn’t really do any sewing.

Sewing goals? Finish two garments. Probably a skirt and a dress.

Just do it

I have a dear, younger relative who seems to be suffering from a fear of failure. He is old enough that he needs to be making some decisions on his own, but seems to be hesitant. He doesn’t even want to move out of the house of his parents — and they are actually pretty ready for him to go. When I talk to his mom, or my mom, I keep hearing, he just needs to do it, or something similar, but no one seems to be working with him to figure out how. Well, I do think his parents are working with him to the extent that he is in counseling. But does that counseling actually get practical about how to face a fear of failure?

I actually do have an idea to offer. One of the things that paralyzes so many is that they are overwhelmed by the hugeness of their goals. If you can’t see past this big thing in your way, how can you know what to do next? So my solution comes directly from the whole idea of project planning and GTD. Don’t think about the ultimate goal as one big thing. Instead, sit down and break it down into many small steps. And then do just that One Next Action. Small successes can build into big successes, but you have to know what the next step is.

Once you know what your next action is, then just do it is an answer. But until then, it is useless advice.

Project 365

This year, I decided to do my version of Project 365, the effort to take one photograph per day for a year. For some, just taking the photograph is it, but I intend to create a scrapbook from it. I wanted to do it this year, because this is the year I turn 40, and although I don’t feel like my life will suddenly change because I have finished another decade, I do think it is a good moment to pause and evaluate my life. But I’m not doing it based on the 2011 year, but rather on my birthday year, so I am starting six months before to six months after my actual birth date. This means that my photos started in March rather than January.

To make this a workable thing, I have decided to use a basic template for my scrapbook pages, which I intend to do digitally. A simple page with nine square on it and a title bar. The title bar will have the Project title, with the week’s dates. Each box will have one photo, except for the one that is the explanatory text for each day. I will always put the days in the same order, with one extra photo box in the last spot. That extra is optional for a photo, but can be used for a photo that I liked but didn’t really express what I wanted for that day, for some reason. Otherwise, it could also be a spot for more writing or for just a piece of patterned paper.

I’m concentrating on several things: making sure I have photos of myself on a regular basis, observing the daily things in my life right now rather than only special events, trying not to obsess if I miss a photo one day. So far, so good, but I have no certainty that I won’t eventually forget a day.

One thing I am finding helpful is the daily reminder sent out from Katrina Kennedy’s site on Project 365, which keeps it to the forefront of my mind. I’m carrying my camera more and remembering to take a photo every day, though not always remembering what I want to photograph. But that’s okay. Something is better than nothing, and it is all part of my life. I do find it ironic, however, that much of her reminders don’t really focus on what I think of as daily life reminders. “Photograph a 6” doesn’t really inspire me to find an intriguing photograph of a six that happens to catch my eye. It just reminds me to look around for something in my life to focus on – and if it has a number, that’s nice. But then, I remind myself, that not everyone has the same focus as I in doing Project 365. So for others, that may be the most inspiring thought around.

It is leading me to think more about the Project Life kit that is floating around the scrapbooking world. It sounds interesting. I wonder how well it works with digital?

2011 goals

Like many these days, I don’t make resolutions, I define goals, which may or may not succeed, and are NOT limited to one year. So what are the goals in my mind?

  1. I desire greater clarity in my life this year, as I choose clarity to be my word of the year. It will help me make decisions.
  2. Do some reading and writing and studying to help me achieve clarity.
  3. Actually DO some hiking, not just talk about it. I need to do a project page on next actions.
  4. Address the painful left knee and the odd-feeling right ankle so that I can do the physical stuff I desire.
  5. Create a scrapbook about myself.
  6. Simplify and declutter.
  7. Better health (which does include the losing of weight, but I’m not listing that; for some reason, it doesn’t feel right).
  8. Make some progress in some of the crafts I’ve been neglecting: sewing, quilting, and weaving. Maybe a little embroidery too.
  9. Achieve some work goals (being deliberately vague here).
  10. Yoga would be good to add in

Well, ten is plenty.

Word for the year

One of the ideas that I’ve been seeing in many scrapbooking sites is a word for the year that is the underlying focus of whatever goals or activities you may undertake. I thought it was an interesting idea, but I was having a hard time coming up with something for myself. Since I couldn’t really see what sort of theme I wanted to do, I was considering not even trying. If I couldn’t even see clearly enough to figure out my focus of the year, then it wouldn’t feel right as a focus. But then I realized that that problem was my answer. That is what I needed.


I need to see and know things clearly.

Truthfully, the idea is ever so slightly terrifying. Do I really want to see myself with absolute clarity? Do I want to see other people with utter clarity? Maybe, maybe not. But I’m not going to try to limit the word. It would limit what I might learn. So,

Dear Father in Heaven, I ask for clarity for the year. Let what clarity comes my way be Your will, seen with Your eyes, not my own. Help me to learn what You desire for me to learn, so that I may be a daughter who you will not only love, but of whom you will also feel proud. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Hungry again

I really hate having to count calories in any way, shape, or form. (I think I may need to change my attitude about this.)

Once again, I stared at my weight and realized that the five pounds I had lost were now regained. So once again, I had to return to focusing on what I was eating, how much I was eating, and when I was eating it.

The first time I significantly lost weight was when I used Weigh Down Workshop, which was lovely. I didn’t have to count calories, I just had to pay attention to what my body was telling me about being hungry and being full. Being hungry was never the problem, but stopping when full — a little more challenging. I probably would have stayed with this program when I needed to return, if some peculiarities hadn’t occurred with the woman who founded it, which led to me just not feeling much trust in either her or the program overall.

In the meantime, I had begun to revise my eating habits in connection with my own interest in natural food, locally produced, and made at home. While I am not obsessive about this — I do eat out, I don’t fret too much when I eat at someone else’s house, etc. — nonetheless I do have a primary focus of avoiding processed foods and eating healthy stuff, not limited by the fear-mongering of the media that constantly touts one type of food as being the magic food that will help you lose weight.

Unfortunately, this makes it a little more difficult to work with diets that tell you to eat this food so many times per day, when it is out of season and I am not going to the grocery store to buy it. This approach to cooking and eating actually adds to the difficulty of doing something like Jenny Craig or LA Fitness. Weight Watchers? maybe, maybe not. I may choose to look into it, eventually.

One book that has been interesting and helpful is The Beck Diet by Judith Beck, as well as a blog I very much enjoy that helps me see that the focus doesn’t need to be so much on the calories as it needs to be on the habits. But in the meantime, I am using the food diary/calories to help me be aware of what and how much I am putting in my body.

Overall, let me be clear, I am healthy. I am not carrying so much weight that I look bad or anything, plus I exercise regularly enough to know that I am in fairly good shape, but I am well aware of the fact that I could look and feel better if I carried a bit less weight.

(actual amount to lose? somewhere between 20 and 40 pounds. I’m not quite sure what is my “ideal” weight, so I am uncertain of the actual goal. But let’s start small — five pounds only.)

So this morning I stick with the simple stuff; the calorie count says I have eaten over 400 calories, it’s still two hours until snack time, and what is my problem? I am hungry.

Eating lunch early! But then what do I do when I am hungry tonight? Figuring out the balance is frustrating and confusing to me, so once again I start to wrestle with this problem. Let’s hope I can keep it up.

Considering a new one

As I get my schedule worked out for traveling to visit family this fall, I’m considering what race I want to do next. I still want to do another 10K in cooler weather to see if maybe I can run a little faster when the heat isn’t killer. So I’m looking at this one. It’s not too far away, and at least part of it is on pretty trails. I’m somewhat interested in not running on asphalt.

My goal? A slightly better pace than last time, so I’d like to do it in 90 minutes or better.

« Older entries